A few weeks ago in Panama, a group of Texans, including a representative from the Dallas World Aquarium, landed in a private jet intending to airlift out of the country roughly 10% of the entire wild population of one of the most endangered animals on the planet. When caught, they explained they had a plan to establish a breeding population…return some to the wild, etc, etc.
The pygmy three-toed sloth (Bradypus pygmaeus) is found on a single island–Isla Escudo de Veraguas–in Panama, and nowhere else in the world. A recent survey found fewer than 100 of the animals extant.
The secretive mission might have succeeded if suspicious bystanders hadn’t noticed a number of crates containing what appeared to be animals being loaded on the plane. Questions were asked. A large impromptu crowd formed vigorously insisting that the sloths be returned to the wild.
The Texans were forced to…
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